People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
– Simon Sinek
Over the last few years I have come across the notion of an Agile Ecosystem and several different thoughts around what constitutes an Agile Ecosystem. I have seen people in the industry refer to the Agile Ecosystem as a number of practices used together to achieve a delivery team’s agility goals. For example, the marriage of Scrum, XP, DevOps and Kanban. I think leveraging the best of breed in all of these areas makes perfect sense. However, the Agile Ecosystem is much bigger and needs to support the business as a whole. To drive sustainable agility and continuous improvement, an ecosystem must be built and maintained at an enterprise level.
So… how do you go about building a high performing ecosystem that can provide value and continually delight customers?
Start With Why
It starts with Why… In other words what are the business drivers for making the organizational transformation. Why are you transforming? It may be to increase your market responsiveness, improve quality or greater predictability. Whatever it is, it needs to be clear.
When the why is understood and transparent, the trek toward an agile ecosystem that supports the entire enterprise can begin. The trek starts with defining the end-state vision of your transformation and putting structure, governance and metrics in place to support the transformation.
When you have clarified why you are going through the transformation, the next step should include forming teams at the delivery, program and portfolio levels. Then setting up a clear governance model and a way to demonstrate measurable progress. When all of these things are in place, the journey toward enterprise agility can begin.
With the end-state in mind and a shared understanding of why, it’s time to get clarity on the team structure so governance and metrics can be applied. In my next post, I will touch on the teams in a scaled enterprise agile ecosystem and how they need to work together to deliver value to the customer.